Sunday Salon: The Last Days of February

I don’t know about you, but I am so happy that today is the last day of the month. February was almost a book-free month with only four adult books read: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, Spilling Open by Sabrina Harrison Ward, A Photographer’s Life by Annie Leibovitz, and The Big Kahn by Neil Kleid. Since last December I have been stuck in a reading rut that feels as if it’s finally lifting for good. I think I have Cherie Priest’s YA dystopian novel, Boneshaker. I stuck it in my purse the other day as a last resort. Before Boneshaker I couldn’t finish even a magazine. It’s a miracle that I read four books at all. I don’t normally read anything dystopian or much YA, but Priest has written a great book! I’m glad I bought this on impulse last year.

Not only is February and my reading rut coming to an end but also the BLOB game. If you don’t remember, BLOB is a book-acquisition ban game that I was playing with a few other bloggers. Nicole and I were going to keep going until the end of March but decided we’ll wait until the next round in June. During this round I:

  • Gave away 72 books, coming in 4th place
  • Checked out 7 books from the library
  • Entered one contest
  • Bought 8 books
  • Traded 2 books
  • Donated to the charity of my choice 826National

I learned that I love buying books especially for educational purposes even though I have enough unread books on my shelves as it is. I also realized how good it felt to give away books. What didn’t feel good was counting all my unread books and the total being in the 200s. I’m trying to build my dream library now and I would love to read everything I own. Or at least most of it. If I stopped buying books and checking them out from the library, I’m pretty sure I could get through every book on my shelves within the next year. But let’s be honest I love library books! There’s no way I’m giving up the library. Besides I’m eying a few essay collections by Anne Fadiman for my personal library. . .

I’m off to curl up with Boneshaker. It’s 400 pages long and I still have a ton of homework to get through so I won’t finish it today but I don’t mind. What are you reading today?

About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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31 Responses to Sunday Salon: The Last Days of February

  1. vivienne says:

    I like the new look. Very sophisticated.

    I am so glad to hear that Boneshaker is good. I can’t wait to read it.

  2. Nice new look!πŸ™‚

    I really should wrap-up my 3 mth book acquiring ban, which ends today, but I rather fear the results are not encouraging…πŸ˜‰

    I keep hearing good things about Boneshaker and it’s definitely on my wishlist.

  3. JoAnn says:

    I’m still pretty far down the library hold list for The Happiness Project, but am looking forward to it. Will be reading South of Broad today…have a good week!

  4. Jenny says:

    Wow, you are a goddess of not buying books.πŸ˜› This is my month for buying a trillion books, or rather my week. The university’s massive thousands-of-books book sale is on Thursday. I CANNOT WAIT.πŸ˜›

  5. bermudaonion says:

    The stress of BLOB probably made you too depressed to read! Just kidding! I don’t know how y’all did it – you’re stronger than I am.

  6. I’m interested in hearing what you thought of Boneshaker. I found it to be a fast decent read, but didn’t feel like it lived up to the hype I had read about it.

  7. Intriguing layout here! I’m not sure if I’ve ever been here before, but I’m liking what I see.

    The TBR stacks have been bandied about all over the ‘sphere today. My personal journey through those stacks is now documented in a special blog for that purpose. I talk about it in my Salon today, here:

    http://laurel-rainsnowsaccidentallife.blogspot.com/2010/02/sunday-salon_28.html

    But I also read other books (besides the ones on my stack)β€”like library books, review books, and the occasional book I buy that I simply cannot resist!

  8. Frances says:

    Finishing The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano and then going on to Vanessa and Virginia for group read next weekend.

    I think a lot of people have had a hard time hitting their reading groove since the holidays. Feel like I just got out from under lots of personal and professional obligations though, and am ready to go for March.

    It is great to give books away, isn’t it? Especially to people you know. I wouldn’t worry too much about all those unread books. Think of it as a healthy savings account. Happy reading!

  9. Amanda says:

    Wow, my BLOB efforts look a bit ridiculous next to you guys. I acquired a few, mostly through the library, and gave away 12….

  10. Very pretty new blog look!

    You did great with BLOB! I don’t think I could have adhered to that challenge at all!

  11. Gavin says:

    You did a great job on the BLOB and I love the new look. The blue is beautiful. I am curious about Boneshaker and hope to finish Marcelo In The Real World today. Have a good week!

  12. Jodie says:

    Pretty pretty new templateπŸ™‚ I’m so glad you’re enjoying ‘Boneshaker’, I’m really looking forward to the related book coming out in March and there’s a third book set in the same world due out at the end of 2010 I think.

  13. kiss a cloud says:

    Great job on the BLOB, Vasilly! Love the new look as well. I have a Fadiman book on the tbr and it looks so pretty!

    I’ve just finished reading The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid. Will be dipping into We Are the Friction the rest of the day. Happy Sunday!

  14. nomadreader says:

    Congratulations on BLOB! I’ve been in a reading rut too, but I find the more time I plan, schedule and make goals for reading, the less I end up reading. I’m not sure I’m deliberately reading this year, but I am getting back into the groove of reading, which is a joy after a slow year.

  15. Carrie K. says:

    I really like the new look – love the blue! And you definitely should own the Fadiman collections – I adore them. It was a good reading weekend – I finished The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen and The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington – both very good. I’m hoping to finish The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg today and then get farther into The Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor.

    Hope you’re having a great Sunday!

  16. Beth F says:

    I love your new look. Very nice.

    I am so glad BLOB is over today. Tomorrow I am going to the library and to the bookstore. I’m hoping I don’t end up going crazy, just to make up for the game!

  17. Bree says:

    LOVE the new look!!!! February has been a horrible reading month for me too. I think I’ve read 1 book (maybe). I finally took back all of my library books cause I just wasn’t reading anything. I have several review books to read that look really interesting so I’m going with those. I haven’t even been able to focus long enough to read blogs or to blog. Hopefully March will be better for both of us.

    How’s school going?

  18. Molly says:

    You gave away 72 books?! I think that is awesome!

    I, too, love buying books and do so with the intent of establishing a personal library that will be well-used in my retirement years.

  19. heidenkind says:

    The new look is great! I know what you mean about library books. It’s just so fun to check books out! I don’t know why….

    Right now I’m reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which is very good. And yes, I got it from the library.πŸ™‚

  20. Eva says:

    Your new look is so awesome! One of my fave colours!πŸ˜€

    I’m glad your slump is finally done! So frustrating. And you’re a stronger woman than I with BLOB!

  21. She says:

    Yay for no more reading slumps! I’m excited to hear about Boneshaker– it looks pretty interesting.

  22. nanscorner says:

    I’m glad you are getting out of your reading rut. I did well for the last week of February because it was my February vacation. I was able to finish up 3 books! I’m currently reading Liar by Justine Larbalestier. I hope to finish it up in a day or two.

  23. Marie says:

    LOVE the new look! Really, really pretty.
    I’m so impressed with you all doing that BLOB game. I don’t know that I could come up with 70+ books to give away!
    I’m reading ALICE I HAVE BEEN right now and enjoying it. Very well written and interesting. Creepy too!

  24. Memory says:

    I love your new look!

    I really enjoyed BONESHAKER. I’m looking forward to seeing what Priest does next with her alternate world.

  25. Christina says:

    Congrats on getting rid of so many books. I know what you mean when you say that it’s enjoyable giving them away. I love knowing books I did not enjoy will be going on to someone who might cherish them.

  26. Belle says:

    Love the new look! And congrats on BLOB – I’ve had fun reading all the tweets about it. I’m like you – I love acquiring books, especially for educational purposes. I’m actually more inclined to borrow fiction from the library but buy nonfiction to keep – mostly because I know I’ll race through the fiction but it takes me longer to get to my nonfiction! (it might explain the whole magazine addiction thing too …)

  27. Bellezza says:

    I’m so impressed with the amount of books you’ve given away! I love to be clutter free, but I still have far too many books, and your goal of reading everything you have/building a dream library resonates deeply within me.

    I’ve been to your blog several times before leaving this comment, but I like the template change. I’m so spatially challenged that one column is easier for me to read than three. This one is quite lovely, although of course I’d still read your blog if you went back to the multi-column format.πŸ™‚

  28. Vasilly says:

    Vivienne: Thanks! The Boneshaker is a pretty good read so far. I’m really enjoying it. I’m surprised I haven’t heard about the author before now.

    Darren: Thanks! I saw your post about your ban. You did great. I was just in the mood to give away so many books. If I hadn’t, I would probably had clinged to them longer.

    Joann: I hope you get The Happiness Project soon. It’s a really lovely book. I can’t wait to read your thoughts about the Conrad book.

    Jenny: You have me jealous! I wish I could go with you to your university book sale. Have fun!

    Kathy: LOL! I think being in a competition with each other really helped. Otherwise we would have probably clung to our books.

    TheLeprechaunreads: I think it helps that I’ve only read one or two reviews on Boneshaker. I’m trying not to read many reviews about a book I want to read because not many books can live up to so much hype. It’s a decent read and I’m happy that I’m reading it. I hope the end doesn’t disappoints.

    Laurelrainsnow: Thanks! I read your blogs! They are so great.

    Frances: I’m about to start Bolano’s Savage Detectives. It’s my first by the late author so I can’t wait to read it.

    Amanda: You did great on BLOB!

    Rhapsodyinbooks: Thanks!

  29. Vasilly says:

    Gavin: Thanks! Marcelo in the Real World was a favorite of mine last year. Happy reading!

    Jodie: Thanks for the compliment and also for letting me know about the author. Depending on how Boneshaker ends, I may get the next one.

    Claire: Thanks! I read Fadiman before and really think a re-read is due. I just bought something by Kincaid so I hope you post your thoughts on the book you just finished by her. Happy reading.

    Nomadreader: Thanks! I’m glad you’re slowly getting from under your reading rut.

    Carrie: Thank you! You are on a reading roll! Year of Pleasures has been sitting on my shelves for awhile now. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on it.

    Beth F: I’m glad that BLOB is over only because I can finally pick up a few books from the library without penalties! Have fun finding new books to bring home! I’m sure Audible.com missed you!πŸ˜‰

    Bree: I hope reading goes better for you. School has been okay though now I prefer to read and be left alone! Counting down until summer and no school! Send me an email when you’re not busy!

    Molly: I think that’s one of the best things about establishing a personal library now. The books in it are made up of past and future reads.

    Heidenkind: I’m doing better on checking out books now because of BLOB. Happy reading!

    Eva: Thanks! I’m so glad it’s over now though.

    She: Now I’m ready to tackle my TBR shelves. We’ll see how far I get with that!

    Nancorner: I read a lot of different opinions about Liar. I can’t wait to read yours. Happy reading!

    Marie: I’ve read a lot of things about Alice I Have Been but haven’t read “creepy” though. Can’t wait to read your thoughts about it!

    Memory: Thanks! Priest is a very interesting author. Depending how the ending goes, I’ll probably read more by her.

    Christina: Thanks! That’s one of the things I think about when I’m giving books away, who would benefit from it and might enjoy the book more.

    Belle: I think I’m the same way! This year I’ve bought a lot of nonfiction though I rarely read it. Fingers crossed we’ll get through our piles one day.

    Bellezza: I’m so glad you like this new format. I was thinking about how hard it was for you to see the old one and thought maybe other people might feel the same way. I like the new look also so I’ll probably stick to it. Now if I can just get the font a tad bigger. . . πŸ™‚

  30. Michelle says:

    First, LOVE the new layout. It looks greatπŸ™‚ I’m a big fan of blue, it’s my favorite!

    Second, congratulations on a successful BLOB endeavor. I think even if you don’t “win” you win. You were generous with charitable contributions and saved yourself more money than you normally would. Nothing wrong with that I say.

    Lastly, here’s to hoping you read some of those 200 books over the course of April!

  31. thebrainlair says:

    I loved The Boneshaker! Don’t forget that it’s also steampunk. I also read Leviathan, Mortal Engines, Hunchback Assignments and Soulless. Steampunk was so much fun. Now I’ve moved on though I will read the second soulless book when it comes out! It had the benefit of wit and romance, kind of a steampunk Pride and Prejudice. Grab it if you think of it. Love the new look!

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